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On My Side

After Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas captured two gold medals in the 2012 London Games, she made this proclamation: “God will never fail you. He’s always on your side.”

Sometimes this kind of statement by an athlete can be misunderstood. It can be taken to mean that if I’m competing against you in a sports contest and I have God’s help, there is no way I can lose. But if we turn to Psalm 118:5-6, we get the true picture of what this line means—and what Gabby meant. The psalmist wrote, “I called on the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.”

Another version translates verse 6 as “the Lord is with me” (niv). It’s the idea that when trouble comes into our lives, God, who is full of mercy and love (which “endures forever,” v.4) will always be attentive to us and provide the protection we need.

We can learn from this heroic Olympic champion. When the economy falters and our finances can’t keep up, listen to Gabby: “God will never fail you.” When a relationship we cherished falls apart; indeed, no matter what our situation, as Christ-followers we know where to find help. “The Lord is on my side.”

Be still, my soul—the Lord is on thy side!
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide—
In every change He faithful will remain. —von Schlegel
In the midst of every trial, God is on our side.